Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation makes $100,000 gift to Rowan U performing arts fund
The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation has contributed $100,000 to revitalize Rowan University’s Center for the Arts, with the goal of supporting cultural life and education in South Jersey.
The gift to the Rowan University Foundation designated for the Marie F. Rader Memorial Fund will support a variety of existing and future initiatives that also include expanding a performance series to attract world-renowned artists and exposing College of Performing Arts students to professionals in their fields of creative study.
In 2008, Virginia Smith, vice president of the Rancocas, N.J.-based Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation and long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees, established the Marie F. Rader Memorial Fund.
The fund honors the late Mt. Laurel resident, who was noted for volunteering her time and talent to the Philadelphia Orchestra for more than 20 years, serving as a member of the N.J. Committee for the Orchestra and chairing numerous committees and fundraisers.
“In the spirit of my dear friend Marie, I am happy to support performing arts at Rowan through this investment, and I am especially pleased that it continues the work Marie was so passionate about,” Smith said. “Rowan’s College of Performing Arts has a tremendous opportunity to have a direct and positive impact on deserving students and to broaden cultural opportunities for all of us in South Jersey.”
By championing new and creative ways of bringing programs and performances to the campus, the Marie F. Rader Memorial Fund continues the expansion of the performing arts at Rowan and enriches the lives of students, faculty and alumni, as well as the greater New Jersey community.
“Rowan Family Foundation support has transformed and continues to transform the University,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University. “Our University and our region are fortunate to have such generous benefactors. Their gifts inspire others to give, and they show that the arts are an area deserving of such an investment.”
In addition to support from the Rowan family, the Marie F. Rader Memorial Fund also benefits from an annual fundraising concert presented by the College of Performing Arts during the December holiday season. Past concerts have featured Nashville recording star Louise Mandrell and have spotlighted some of Rowan’s esteemed faculty, including Metropolitan Opera star Barbara Dever and acclaimed jazz artist Denis DiBlasio.
“The College of Performing Arts is a cultural hub for the campus and South Jersey,” said Dean John Pastin, “and this gift is indicative of the support and commitment the Rowan family and the entire University community have given to the arts. We know it is what Marie Rader would have liked to see, and we hope to make her name well known throughout the region.”
The Rowan family has a long history of supporting the Glassboro-based University. "The Rowan family's recent gift is a wonderful sign of their broad assistance for the entire University. This gift will enable the University to revitalize the Center for the Arts and continue to enhance the quality of the performances offered at the University,” said R.J. Tallarida, Jr., executive director of the Rowan University Foundation. "Because of the Rowan family's generosity, our institution will continue to evolve into a destination for students, families and community residents interested in performing arts.”